With the outburst of technology, lesser and lesser number of children are reading. They idle away their time in playing video games and surfing the net, which is not as constrictive as reading books. Books help your child’s overall growth and development, they keep them engaged in constructive ways and help to develop their imagination. If you are worried that amidst the current surrounding of TV, video games and internet, how will your child develop a habit of reading, here is what you can do to encourage him/her.
Babies pick up habits at quite an early age. Reading books to them, while they are still young might inculcate the habit of reading. It is believed that children as young as a couple weeks old start responding to the soothing rhythm of voice that reads aloud. Reading to children at a young age also helps in their mental and emotional growth and development.
Illustrated And Easy Books
Children have a very short attention span. Books that are full of text, has too many pages and very few illustrations or pictures, might bore them. Perhaps this is why kids are always attracted towards comics and magazines. Giving them books that are easy to understand, have shorter stories and are colourful and illustrated might engage them in reading for a longer duration.
Set An Example
Children learn from what they see around themselves. Hence, whatever your children see you and your family doing, they would follow it. If you want your children to be readers, start reading yourself. When they will see you reading and not wasting your time in chit-chatting, watching TV or playing video games, they will start picking up books and reading them in their leisure time.
Create A Reading Atmosphere
The atmosphere in your home has a great impact on your kids. If you want to keep your kids busy with reading, start creating reading atmosphere. Buy them book shelves for their rooms and keep the books handy and in site. Since mostly kids are curious, when they will see books lying around and on the shelves, they will end up reading them.
Take Trips To Library And Book Stores
Just like you take your kids to toy stores and amusement parks, every once in a while, take them to bookstores and library. Many libraries have reading sessions for kids, where they can learn about different books, authors, and genres. Your kids might also get motivated to read more when they see kids of their age reading. Leave your kids at the children’s book section and you might be surprised to see your kids browsing through books and asking to buy or borrow a few.
Let The Kid Choose
Kids are moody and choosy, you might think that they are not old enough to make their own decisions, but most of the times they know what’s good for them and what isn’t. Let them choose their books as per their interest. In case, your kid is a fan of science fiction, don’t force him/her to read literature, this will negatively impact their reading habits.
Reread The Favourites
Adults might get bored of reading the same stories again and again, but kids love to make new observations in the same old stories. Many times they catch something that they may have missed in the earlier readings. It also helps them to maintain a good reading habit.
Encourage All Kinds Of Reading
Make sure you give a huge exposure to your kids and don’t restrict them to a limited genre of reading. Encourage them to read everything, right from classics to novels, to comics, and even packaged food cartons or advertising hoardings. This will prevent reading from becoming boring. You can also subscribe weekly, fortnightly or monthly kids’ magazines or newspapers. This will help them to keep up with the current affairs.
Discuss The Books
Most of the children’s books have interesting stories with a great moral or a lesson. If you want your kids to ponder upon the good teachings of the book and not just enjoy the story, make a habit of discussing the books with your kids. This will encourage them to critically read and understand the book and not just go through the pages.
Use Of Technology
Kids these days are too much into technology. They get very curious when they see their parents working on laptops, texting on mobile phones or using tablets. They find these gadgets more interesting than books. If you have kids, who are more into technology and gadgets than in books, introduce them to e-books. Invest in a good quality e-book reader and encourage them to spend time on reading through an e-book reader instead of playing games on a tablet.
If you don’t pay attention to what your kids are doing now and don’t inculcate good habits at a young age, they might never get around to reading books. Start slow but start early, you will soon find a book worm in your house.